When you think about food safety, you might not be thinking about the effort that goes into keeping its packaging safe and clean.
Haremar gets 99.79% IFS score for 2015
When you think about food safety in packaging, you might think about proper food seals, barriers or oxygen transmission rates. You probably don't think about the cleanliness of the plant in which the film is made, or the effort that goes into making sure that environment—at every step—is free of contamination risk.
Walk into the Inteplast Industrial Films, Haremar Plastics Division in Toronto and any worries concerns regarding of food contamination are left at the door. With clean surfaces, hand sanitizers strategically located throughout the facility at work stations and next to machinery—the plant gives off the overall impression of an “Extremely Clean” and contaminant-free workspace.
The plant’s proactive approach to food safety standards has landed them a near-perfect rating—99.79%—from International Featured Standards (IFS).
“We have one of the best IFS teams in the world. Our plant is one of the cleanest plastic plants—or any plant—that you walk into,” said Edward Wallace, quality assurance manager at Inteplast in Toronto. “People here are so dedicated to the program, there’s lots of commitment from all teams.”
IFS PACsecure is a globally recognized food safety standard that has strict and comprehensive requirements in areas such as senior management responsibility, resource management, quality and packaging material safety management system, planning and production processes, measurements, analysis, improvements and packaging material defense/food defense and external inspections.
In order to maintain their quality management system, the Toronto team performs audits each month with machinery operators and packers providing feedback to management, and team leaders providing the proper resources to keep their IFS rating climbing each year (Haremar started with a score of 95% in 2012).
“Because of the sensitive requirements of the products that we manufacturer for our customers, we need to be proactive instead of reactive,” said Wallace, who noted that their audits go beyond their own four walls with also include careful inspections of at their suppliers’ facilities.
The program sets out to prevent any chemical, physical or biological hazards that may occur on film. “The reason why it’s important to prevent hazards in a proactive manner is so our customers & end users are safe and satisfied with our product,” said Wallace.
IFS team members at the plant are very dedicated to making sure it stays organized, sanitary and safe— Cleaning, sanitation and housekeeping represent our best practices that keep the Inteplast plant audit ready at all times.
“It’s not only about scoring—the scores are a reflection of how committed we are to our customers in food safety,” said Wallace. “Our customers have trust and confidence that our products are safe and that the quality is superlative.”